The Liberia Football Referee Association and the Liberia Football Association (LFA) have ended a weeklong elite referee course at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex on Thursday, 16 May in Paynesville.
Organized by the LFA with support from Fifa, the course will bring 30 Liberian referees, who are undergoing fitness and technical scrutiny from May 12-16
The opening ceremonies were graced by Liberia Football Referees Association (Lifra) President Cllr. Joseph Kollie, who is an LFA executive committee member, acting LFA Secretary John Bonah, LFA Integrity Officer Morris Nahndi Barsi Giah, Jr., LFA Director of Referees Stanley Konah and LFA Technical Director Henry Browne.
Speaking after the fitness test, Felix Tangawarima called on the participants to be technicians and not politicians.He also urged the referees to refrain from making public comments, which could have a reflection on their performance.According to him, referee are not to be all on social media making all sorts of comments.
He also thanks the LFA for helping to promote the integrity of the game by providing referees’ indemnity without delay.,”If you want more money, go find a second profession because being a referee is a sacrificial job,” he says.
Speaking for the LFA, Acting LFA President Sekou Konneh encouraged referees to seek another profession in order to make them more independent. Konneh said the LFA will do all it can to support good referees while the bad guys will be named and shamed.
“Since we took over last year, we have suspended four referees who crossed the red lines. Those who deserved to be praised will be praised because they see football differently from those who want to corrupt the game,” Konneh added.Deputy Sports Minister Andy Quamie appealed to Felix and Malawi’s Mark Mzenga to help promote Liberian referees.
“No Liberian referee has been to any major Caf or Fifa competition whether at under-17, under-20, under-23 or the Africa Cup of Nations finals. It is not good news and I know it will change in the future,” says Quamie.
Participants of the training included Fifa-badged referees Jerry Yekeh, George Rogers, Hassan Corneh and Sylvina Garnett.Others include Fifa-badged assistant referees Johnson Gbartea, Sekou Kanneh and Joel Doe.By Sally Gaye